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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INSECT CRYOPRESERVATION, DORMANCY, GENETICS AND BIOCHEMISTRY

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Acute and chronic effects of transportation stress in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Authors
item Bennett, Anna
item Yocum, George
item Rinehart, Joseph
item Kemp, William
item Peterson, Stephen -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2014
Publication Date: June 12, 2014
Citation: Bennett, A.K., Yocum, G.D., Rinehart, J.P., Kemp, W.P., Peterson, S. 2014. Acute and chronic effects of transportation stress in the honey bee, Apis mellifera [abstract]. 8th Annual Arthropod Genomics Sympsium. 06/12-14/2014. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Paper No. 21.

Interpretive Summary: Managed honey bee colonies provide crucial pollination services. Owing to the continued impact of colony collapse disorder (CCD) on the beekeeping industry, numerous stressors including nutrition, pests and pathogens and biocides are being investigated as potential contributors to what appears to be a multi-factorial disorder. Because honey bee hives are transported across the U.S. for pollination services in numerous crops throughout the growing season, we believe that it is important to understand how transportation may contribute as an additional stressor. Bees were collected from hives prior to transportation from North Dakota then one week and three weeks after field placement in California bee yards. Hive strength was recorded as frame numbers of bees prior to and at multiple time points after shipment. Samples of bees were collected at each time point and gene expression was analyzed. We found genes differentially regulated between hives at each time point suggesting between hive variability, which was reflected in frame count numbers and Nosema prevalence. Genes differentially regulated between time points appear to show both acute and chronic patterns of expression suggesting transportation does impact hives in the short and long term. Preliminary results suggest these data have the potential to yield biological markers for pre-shipment and transportation stress that may allow us to predict the likelihood of hive failure if exposed to transportation stress.

Technical Abstract: Owing to the continued impact of colony collapse disorder (CCD) on the beekeeping industry, numerous stressors including nutrition, pests and pathogens and biocides are being investigated as potential contributors to what appears to be a multi-factorial disorder. Because honey bee hives are transported across the U.S. for pollination services in numerous crops throughout the growing season, we believe that it is important to understand how transportation may contribute as an additional stressor. Nurse bees were collected from hives prior to transportation from North Dakota then one week and three weeks after field placement in California bee yards. Hive strength was recorded as frame numbers of bees prior to and at multiple time points after shipment. Two lanes of paired-end Illumina sequencing was performed on RNA from three bees from each of three hives for each of the three time points for a total of 27 biological samples. Transcript assembly and differential gene expression analyses were carried out using the Tuxedo Suite. Transcripts were aligned to NCBI’s NR protein database, with annotation and ontology analysis performed using BLAST2GO. Genes were differentially regulated between hives at each time point suggesting between hive variability, which was reflected in frame count number and Nosema prevalence. Genes differentially regulated between time points appear to show both acute and chronic patterns of expression. Preliminary results suggest these data have the potential to yield biomarkers for pre-shipment and transportation stress that may allow us to predict the likelihood of hive failure if exposed to transportation stress.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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